Before and After: A Clever DIY Refresh Makes a Boring Bedroom Bright and Bold for $130

published Dec 31, 2021
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There’s nothing like a good paint job to transform a space. With the right prep work, even an afternoon of DIYing can make a drab, dated, off-white room feel bright and inviting. 

When Anne-Claire moved into her 1960s home, her bedroom felt anything but fun. The previous owners had a king-sized bed dominating the space and a color scheme that felt drab. It just didn’t match the bright design of the rest of the home, Anne-Claire says. “When we moved in, one wall was painted a dark greenish-gray, and the other walls were a very light shade of gray, almost white … but not white,” she says.

Anne-Claire started by installing a smaller bed against a different wall. “Our bed is a queen-size platform bed, so it takes a bit less space and is also lower. Having it against this wall felt like the room was already bigger, and it also makes it face the larger window, which gives you a nice few of the trees when you lay down.”

Even with the furniture repositioned, the room still felt small and dark. Anne-Claire also wanted to add some lights and small bedside tables that wouldn’t bump up against the platform bed. Since the bedroom is on the smaller side, she had to make the tiny space feel larger with paint and clever storage. 

First up, a base coat of Behr’s Ultra White. “This first step made a huge difference,” Anne-Claire says. “I’m happy I went the extra step and painted the ceiling. After a few years, just like the other walls, ceiling paint gets dirty and damaged, and the new wall paint next to it would have made it look even worse.”

Then, she wanted to bring in a pop of color without painting a whole wall. Since Anne-Claire didn’t want to splurge on an expensive headboard, she opted for a bright coat of Behr’s Sunny Side Up to serve as a visual headboard. 

“I painted a yellow rectangle on two consecutive walls, the largest section behind the bed and the smaller section on the perpendicular wall,” explains Anne-Claire. “It’s a very simple shape, but the asymmetry of its placement gives it some character.”

Next, she sourced some affordable industrial wall lamps as bedside lighting. “I loved the white powder-coated metal shade and the light’s wood arm, but not so much the original basic cord it came with,” she says. Using some raffia string she already had, Anne-Claire wrapped the visible electrical cords for natural texturing. 

“The result looks so cute and really made the visible cords look like they’re part of the design,” she says.

Finally, she took some leftover pine board from her kitchen and cut two small bedside tables. Once she sanded and coated them in polyurethane, they were ready to install using four metal brackets from Home Depot

With some additional leftover pine board, Anne-Claire also created a small display shelf above the bed. “I used whatever leftover wood I could find and painted it all white to blend in with the wall,” she explains. 

The whole project took Anne-Maire about a week and cost $130. “I love how, with a small budget, I managed to bring personality to this room. I could’ve splurged on a headboard, expensive lights, and nightstands, but it was more fun and creative to DIY everything,” she says. “It just makes me smile every time I enter the room.” 

For anyone thinking of adding a pop of color to their room, Anne-Claire recommends starting small. “Rather than using it for a whole wall, consider just painting an accent shape. If you don’t like it or get tired of it after a while, it will be very easy to paint over,” she says.